Congress’ Bhupinder Singh Hooda (left) and BJP’s Manohar Lal Khattar. (Source: BloombergQuint)

Election 2019: What Factors Are At Play In Haryana

The Bharatiya Janata Party had swept the last general election with almost 35 percent vote share in Haryana. Four months later, in the 2014 assembly election, the Narendra Modi-led party retained its foothold in the northern state. This time, all the 10 Lok Sabha seats of Haryana will vote on May 12. Can the BJP repeat its 2014 success in Haryana?

The year 2014 was all about the Modi wave but this time round, the sheen seems to be fading, according to Anil Tyagi, editor of Gfiles. “It’s a candidate versus candidate fight in Haryana, Tyagi told BloombergQuint in an interview. “There is no Modi wave at present.”

Shamsher Chandel, editor of The Hush Post, agreed. “Looking past the media buzz, whether the Modi magic is still present on ground is questionable as the 2014 enthusiasm seems missing,” he said. “It may not really work out well for the BJP.”

The BJP, riding its narrative on the nationalism card, may face a setback with the regions around the National Capital Region focussing on more “concrete issues” such as the impact of goods and services tax, demonetisation and unemployment, according to the panelists.

“Every constituency has its own complex wave of problems,” said Tyagi. “The caste influence is a major poll factor in the state and the Congress has an edge with its Jat candidate Bhupinder Singh Hooda.”

Hooda, the two-time Chief Minister of the state, will be contesting from Sonipat and his son Deepender Singh Hooda from the Rohtak constituency.

On the other hand, current Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is representing BJP from the Karnal constituency in the Haryana Legislative Assembly. But the fight may not be restricted to just the Congress and BJP. Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party has forged an alliance with the regional satrap Jannayak Janata Party. Om Prakash Chautala’s Indian National Lok Dal is also on the fray. Besides, a Bahujan Samaj Party-Loktantra Suraksha Party tie-up may change the equations in Haryana.

Watch the full debate here: